Commander Jose M. Bolanos is a native of Havana, Cuba. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in August 1979. Commander Bolanos came up through the enlisted ranks and has 36 years of active duty service in the Coast Guard.
After completing basic training in Alameda, California, he successfully completed tours of duty at the following units: Coast Guard Station Grand Isle, LA, USCGC ACUSHNET in Gulfport, MS, Coast Guard Station Mobile, AL, Marine Safety Office Mobile, AL, USCGC NANTUCKET in San Juan, Puerto Rico, USCGC POINT MONROE in Gulfport, MS, USCGC MADRONA in Charleston, SC, and Coast Guard Station Charleston, SC where he served as Officer in Charge.
Upon his selection to Chief Warrant Officer, CDR Bolanos reported to Group Ohio Valley in Louisville, KY where he served as Operations Officer. He then continued to the following units: Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, FL serving as Commanding Officer, Coast Guard ATLANTIC AREA Cutter Forces staff in Portsmouth, VA, and CG Training Center Yorktown, VA, where he served as Branch Chief for the Coast Guard's Mobile Training Branch, International Division.
Designated as a Permanent Cutterman, Commander Bolanos’ most recent afloat assignments include tours as the Operations Officer aboard the USCGC VIGILANT in Port Canaveral FL, Commanding Officer aboard USCGC MATAGORDA in Key West FL, and Executive Officer aboard USCGC DECISIVE in Pascagoula MS.
His personal decorations include: Permanent Cutterman's Pin, Coxswain's Insignia, Command Afloat and Ashore Insignia, six Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Achievement Medals, Global War on Terror Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, four Coast Guard Good Conduct Medals, Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon, Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon, and Coast Guard Expert Pistol and Rifle Medals.